Describing the recent installation of an Audient console as a “significant upgrade” to Cobra Sound studio, audio engineer, Martin Čema is thoroughly satisfied with his investment. “The studio has switched between multiple consoles over the years. I now know that the ASP8024-HE was the best choice for the studio’s requirements,” says the owner of the Bratislava-based studio.
“the ASP8024-HE was the best choice”
His 24-channel Audient desk is central to a hybrid setup at Cobra Sound. “The sound base is recorded into the DAW and the entire clean sound base is then processed on the console using external processors. I mix with the live system and the resulting mix goes back to the computer in a stereo track.” Using the console’s ‘Dual Layer Control’ (DLC) module in conjunction with Audient’s Faderlink, Martin enjoys extended control options for his DAW and any analogue input.
He is used to working with a lot of outboard. Before the arrival of the ASP8024-HE, he would use external preamps as well, but he hadn’t fully appreciated the premium quality of the Audient mic pre. “These mic preamps are absolutely great. I used to use Studer and Neve, but the preamps on the desk are fantastic.”
“the Air band is really outstanding”
Indeed there are many features that he’s come to appreciate as he has got to know his console. “The stand-out is the master bus section, which is really cool. The patchbay design with insert body is perfect and I really like the Air band on the HF section. The entire EQ section is great, but the Air band is really outstanding.”
He continues, “Even though the console is defined as a 24-channel desk, I have a total of 80 inputs at my disposal, which is absolutely incredible for an analogue desk of this size.” By using the long and short faders, it is possible to create separate record and monitor balances on one channel strip – all while being able to access the console’s splittable EQ and aux sends.
“unbelievable how good live recorded drums could sound”
It is not just Martin who has been wowed by his new desk. Soon after install, he played a standard live gig multitrack recording of drums alone on six microphones. “It was incredible how this dry recording sounded through the ASP8024-HE.” He recalls making a short video on his phone and sending it to around 30 of his friends. “Many of them started showing up at the studio out of curiosity. It was unbelievable how good live recorded drums could sound over completely standard microphones.”
Cobra Sound studio is a result of Martin’s tenacity, hard work and expertise. Steadily growing his equipment list, he saved up and bought what he could afford, without taking out expensive loans. Opening the studio back in 2007, he relied on word-of-mouth and contacts made as a live sound and studio engineer for business. “The studio itself has no presence on social networks and will remain so. If I want to meet someone, we meet face to face, which is always more pleasant,” says Martin.
“I have my favourite brands and now Audient is one of them”
Despite this, Cobra Sound’s diary is jam-packed! There are a few things in the pipeline, including: two projects with Korben Dallas & Aneta Langerova; further cooperation with the band, Billy Barman and the ‘Spoločné ihriská’ project. The latter is a recording of a live performance of Tibor Feledi Kairos Quintet with the Children’s and Girls’ Choir of the Slovak Radio, which is to be released as an album.
Martin still remembers the countless discussions he had back when he was deciding on the board. “It all boiled down to the question: ‘Do you want to service old recording consoles for the rest of your life, or do you want to do creative work with sound and mix music?’ In the end the answer was obvious and the Audient obviously won!” Happily, he has no regrets. “I have my favourite brands and now Audient is one of them.”
Cobra Sound studio’s ASP8024-HE was supplied by MusicData.